Marketing materials regulation & approval
Our previous article (Property Information Forms) provided an overview of the content of the TA6 form, and discussed how it could be divided into two distinct sections completed at different times. The first section focused on the information needed to market a property, and the second the additional information required to complete a sale.
This article is a continuation, exploring Property Particulars and the importance of ensuring property owners approve their content before they are published.
Property Particulars refer to the materials agents produce to advertise a property for sale or rent.
Prior to 1st October 2013, Property Particulars were regulated by the Property Misdescriptions act 1991. Following it’s repeal, consumers are now protected by the Consumers Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations – May 2008 and businesses are protected by The Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations – May 2008.
What’s the difference between Property Particulars and the TA6?
Property particulars normally consist of a written brochure, text and photography for use on websites and property portals and where appropriate video tours and drone footage. Their layout and content will vary from agent to agent.
The property information from or TA6 is a much more in-depth document historically requested once a sale has been agreed. It provides the buyer with additional information to help them to decide if they wish to continue with the purchase. The content will be consistent and is administered by the Law Society.
Are property particulars regulated?
In terms of overall content and layout no its very much down to the individual agent and their customer how they want to present a property. However, estate agents have to adhere to consumer protection regulations meaning trading standards can hold them accountable if they produce property particulars that are judged to be misleading. In addition, agents must belong to an approved redress scheme such as the The Property Ombudsman who have specific standards that members must comply with.
What are the potential consequences of inaccurate property particulars?
Inappropriate viewings and the fall through of a sale in the first instance. In severe cases potential charges for misrepresentation under the consumer protection regulations.
Should property particulars be approved by the owner?
Yes it’s best practice and also a requirement for those agents registered with the Property Ombudsman
When are property particulars produced and can they be circulated to prospective buyers/tenants before they are approved by the owner?
It’s normally one of the first tasks an agent will complete once they have been formally instructed, however some agents may produce a draft as part of their post market appraisal sales proposal.
If they are to be circulated prior to approval, they should clearly state that is the case using a statement such as “draft” or “Subject to approval”.
Can other agreements be made alongside signing off particulars?
Yes, there is no reason why an approval request could not include terms and conditions not related to the property particulars.
Can Finch help agents with the property particulars approval process?
Yes, Finch provides a flexible digital process that allows agents to securely present a consolidated marketing pack to their customers for comment and approval.